Skip to main content

Chicago Marathon Training -- Part 2: Survival

That's the best way I can describe my current training status for this marathon. I've survived it, or at least most of it. What remains is a roughly two-week tapering down program in which I run shorter distances and rest my body for the big race day.

These past few months were not without several injuries (which were mostly minor, but felt on the verge of becoming major), nor were they without days of utter doubt--physical, mental, and emotional. At different times the sun beat me down, exhaustion got the best of me, and pain overtook my body. But what prevailed throughout this most rigorous challenge I've ever willingly undertaken was an almost overwhelming desire to achieve something big in my life. All around me people were getting married, having babies, and--well, mostly having babies. So I made this experience my baby. I took great care in planning it, I nurtured it, and I tried to be patient with it in difficult times.  Perhaps that's as far as I can reasonably stretch the metaphor (I could unreasonably take it much further, but I'll spare the reader--be grateful).

So while I don't have a human child to show for my efforts, I have--or will have, come marathon day--a renewed sense of self and a stronger belief in the human capacity to endure, overcome, and reinvent. I think these are also good contributions to society. In the end, I will have no qualms in saying that I, too, have achieved something great.

Comments

People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: Start Here

I alluded in my last post to upcoming foot surgeries I'd soon be posting about. I'm now 19 days away from the first one, and my thoughts pretty constantly revolve around how my life will change after that when I wake up from my "twilight" sleep after the first operation. In my best frame of mind, the scenario is like this: I'll spend a few weeks out of commission, getting some forced rest, spend a few weeks in a boot, limited exercise, and my right foot will be recovered. Then I repeat on the left foot and by fall I'm back on my feet again. That's the Twitter version. But the version that most often plays out in my head is more like a volume of books, with the details of every day painstakingly planned, agonized over, and wondered about. How will I make food? Bathe? Focus on work? Get the mail, take out the trash, do laundry? Will I be in a lot of pain? Will I go crazy during my long days isolated at home? Will people forget about me? Will I get the resul…

2017 and Beyond

If this sounds like a very late new year resolutions post, that's because it is. I never quite finished expounding on my goals for the year, but I wrote 10 things down, so I figure it's worth posting. Plus, I'm going to have lots of cause to post more in the coming months, as I (plan to) chronicle my upcoming foot surgeries, so I may as well resurrect the blog now.I started out last year's resolutions post saying, "This past year was one of the most challenging years of my life." But 2016 has proven to be a hearty rival. The year was heavily mixed with positive and negative events, emotions all over the place. The good: I ran again, I swam, I came back to yoga, I wrote a lot (just not here), I blossomed at work, I loved my family hard. The bad: I injured myself again and couldn't run, I gave up on biking (but later picked it back up), I floundered trying to find purpose, I distanced myself from friends, and I nearly drowned in my anxiety. But I tried, in …

Let the Training Begin ... Please. Please Let It Begin.

Just in time for the start of the summer Olympics, for added motivation, I've laid out my marathon training for the Savannah Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in November. And having just come home from a few days of fun family vacation at New Smyrna Beach, during which I managed to run once, I'm feeling the need more than ever to get back into a routine. I've been working out most days, but with no real plan or goals. That's been sort of fun, I guess, but it's also left me feeling anxious—that I'll have a hard time adapting back into a routine, that I've lost the drive to train hard, or that I simply care less about training. And if that latter scenario is true, what is there instead? I'm getting ahead of myself, but those are the fears. 



My training plan is adapted from The Complete Book of Running for Women, by Claire Kowalczic, published in 1999. This was my running bible when I first began distance running, about eight years ago now. I find its essenti…